DIY projects are a great way to learn about a new idea or procedure. You can learn a lot of great things by pulling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty in the process. This same logic applies to solar energy and other renewable forms of energy. If you’re curious about the possibilities, but don’t want to make the switch yet, then finishing a few DIY renewable energy projects could give you a new understanding and appreciation for what’s happening.
The idea of starting a new DIY project sounds great, but do you know exactly which project you want to start next? If you don’t already have an understanding for solar energy, then you might not know what projects are possible and easy to complete for the novice. Below are a few simple DIY projects that rely on renewable energy and can be built by anyone that’s willing.
The Solar Oven
This is a great DIY project for first-timers. The science, construction, and operation are all extremely simple. The idea behind the project is to replace the need for traditional ovens and their fuel sources, whether it’s fire and wood or electricity and metal. Any and all can be replaced by the efficiency of a solar cooker.
The simplest of solar cookers require very few materials. You will need two cardboard boxes of differing sizes. You place the smaller box inside the larger one and fill the area between the two with cardboard or some other form of insulation. There shouldn’t be much room between the two, so try to find two boxes near the same size.
You’ll then line the smaller box with black construction paper. The paper is there to absorb the additional heat. Then cut four evenly sized squares from cardboard. These will be covered in a reflective material, such as aluminum foil.
To actually cook a meal using the solar cooker all you need to do is place the oven box in an area with plenty of sunlight. You should keep the food inside of a jar or a dark pan to keep most of the heat trapped in the food.
Try experimenting with different times and locations with your new solar cooker. Once you’ve finished this cooker you can take things up a notch by building a heavy-duty solar cooker. These are built from metal barrels and can cook much larger meals in a shorter period of time.
Not everyone wants to jump in ice cold water every time they take a dip in the pool. That’s why they build a DIY solar pool heater. A similar construction method can be used to build a DIY hot water heater for your home, but it’s a good idea to start with the pool heater first until you develop an understanding for the technology and methodology.
A large solar collector collects heat from the Sun’s ray. The magic happens beneath the solar panels in the box. Copper pipes carrying water are warmed by the heat captured with the panels. This is a larger project than the other DIY renewable energy projects, but can be a lot of fun and even save money on electric bills.